The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) has launched a for-profit subsidiary that will provide a la carte services for other Canadian real estate boards.
The company, REB Resources, is a logical extension for the board, which has a reputation for innovation and leadership, says CREB CEO Alan Tennant. He is also president of REB Resources.
“We are well regarded for our willingness to share what we know and do with other real estate boards,” says Tennant. “But more and more, we see a mutually beneficial opportunity that extends beyond knowledge-sharing into service delivery. REB Resources will allow other boards to leverage our in-house expertise like never before.”
The new entity offers support services in technology, professional development and administration on a contract basis to other real estate boards and associations. In future, it will look to providing services to other not-for-profit organizations outside of real estate, Tennant says.
The idea for REB Resources came about when other boards and associations asked why CREB doesn’t offer a la carte services. CREB had been sharing processes for years and it “felt like we were giving away member equity,” Tennant says. But he adds that making a profit is not the goal and the board just wants to cover the cost of providing services.
Creating a subsidiary was also the safest way to charge for services without putting the board’s non-profit status in jeopardy. He says the board wanted to do things properly, similar to keeping their charitable offering separate. “We don’t do that from the main mothership.”
REB Resources is 100 per cent CREB owned and the board’s officers are officers of the new entity.
CREB members are supportive and reacted favourably, Tennant says. Their only concern was if it would hinder the quality of services they get, and the answer is no, he says.
For now the focus is on Alberta, with “an eye to partnerships further afield,” he says. Professional development such as dispute resolution may have limitations, but as for other services, Tennant says, “We’re not limiting ourselves to only Alberta boards, and not just to the real estate industry.”
Other non-profit centres may find payroll, accounting, performance management and job descriptions a challenge and welcome help, he says.
Connie Adair is a contributing writer for REM.